Archive for May, 2004

Collateral Damage

Oh my. What’s a major motion picture studio to do when their new big buck action-adventure mirrors real life tragic events? Put it on the shelf and hope for better times down the road. Five months after it was shelved, “Collateral Damage” arrives in theaters, and unlike a fine wine, time has not been good to the terrorist thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Chainsaw Massacre DVD

Hollywood’s necessity to reinvent its past is on display in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic drive-in horror film about a group of young people who come face to face with a nightmarish, cannibalistic family living on the outskirts of civilization. What made the 1974 original so nerve racking was Hooper’s unrelenting style, pace, and desire to create a film that would work on more than one level. Read the rest of this entry »

Instinct DVD

I would have loved to sat in on the pitch meeting for “Instinct.” “It’s ‘Silence of the Lambs’ meets ‘Gorillas in the Mist.'” Been there, done that. “I’m not done. We’ll also toss in bits and pieces of ‘Cool Hand Luke,’ ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ and ‘Mighty Joe Young.'” What else do you have? “Did I mention that it takes place in a prison just like ‘The Shawshank Redemption?'” Read the rest of this entry »

The 6th Day

Yet another movie that looks and sounds like it was written by people whose only real life experience are the films they saw growing up. What emerges is a film that looks and sounds like a lot of other films, which is ironic considering the film’s theme. Read the rest of this entry »


History is riddled with paradoxes, mysteries that time and knowledge have been unable to lock. What if Saddam Hussein were allowed to follow his childhood dream of being a transsexual harem lap dancer named Coco? Read the rest of this entry »

Whale Rider

Steeped in centuries of tradition and an honest family dynamic rarely seen within the conventional movie system, “Whale Rider” is an emotionally satisfying coming-of-age tale that skillfully peels away the layers of Hollywood artifice to expose a reality that touches the heart, brings a smile to your lips and a tear to your eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond the sea

Passion often leads to risk, and for Hollywood, nothing is as risky as a big screen biography. Which hasn’t swayed or even stopped investors from fueling such recent passion plays as Oliver Stone’s Alexander and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, both larger-than-life portraits of pioneering pundits. Read the rest of this entry »

The Siege

Watching the new terrorist thriller “The Siege” is the equivalent of having great sex only to have your mom walk in on you. No matter what you do after that point is a waste of time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Shining

As a fan of Stephen King, I must admit that I was not thrilled with “The Shining” when it first came out. As an admirer of director Stanley Kubrick, I understood his need to make the film his own, yet I felt betrayed that some of my favorite scenes in the book didn’t make it into Kubrick’s screenplay (co-written with Diane Johnson). Read the rest of this entry »

An Incredible, Eternal, Dynamite, Sideways Year

Somewhere around 1969, there was a pocket of time when Hollywood made films about people. Many defend the time as the birth of the independent film, smaller movies that engaged us with their characters, dialogue, and spirit. Events in these films were shaped by the characters, as opposed to the blockbuster films where events shaped the characters. Read the rest of this entry »